Monday, April 22, 2019

Liverpool have everything – Guardiola lauds Klopp´s title challengers

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 Apr 2019

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Premier League title rivals Liverpool are one of the strongest teams he has faced in his career.

Guardiola is leading City’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple, with Wednesday’s home match against relegation-threatened Cardiff City giving them the chance to regain the lead in England’s top flight by a point with six matches remaining.

City’s title defence is only part of the equation after retaining the EFL Cup, with an FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion to come on Saturday before the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie at Tottenham next week.

The battle for Premier League supremacy has proved engaging over the course of the season and Guardiola holds Jurgen Klopp’s team at Anfield in the highest regard.

“They are one of the strongest teams I have faced,” he told Sky Sports.

“They have everything. They have good tactics, they have great defensive strength, they have very good high pressing and they have a very good counter-attack.

“They had some problems with their positional play before, but that has improved a lot too. Liverpool have everything. That’s why it’s so close.”

Last season saw City return a record-breaking haul of 100 points as they waltzed to glory.

That mark is just out of reach this time around but Guardiola feels improvement across the board has helped his team to make a step forward.

Asked whether he was enjoying stronger competition this time around, he added: “Without doubt. There are a lot of good teams. Winning and then winning again is always difficult.

“But if this year I think we are better than last year, it’s because the other teams have required us to make that jump.”

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